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Paul Ryan 14, Us 11, Mitt Romney 6, Barbara Boxer 5, Obama 4, Harry Reid 4, Hahaahahaha 4, Geico 4, Boxer 3, Michael Eric Dyson 3, Stephanie 3, Washington 3, Msnbc 3, Wisconsin 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3, Christie 2, Clinton 2, Ronny 2, Jimmy 2, Chris Mathews 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    November 5, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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languishing in poverty and barred from opportunity, our work is not yet done. the fight goes on. [ applause ] >> that was president obama speaking on the stump in madison, wisconsin, in his first of three events today. the final hour of the 2012 race are coming down to three things -- enthusiasm, turnout, and revenge. it's monday, november 5th, and this is "now." >> joining me today, msnbc political analyst and georgetown university professor the golden throat, michael eric dyson. senior editor at the atlantic, time aconsistent managing editor rana fa ru hart and editor of the "new york times" sunday magazine, mr. sunday morning himself, hugo hindgren. >> with only one day left, team romney is going to the kitchen sink and it has the rank smell
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of desperation. >> talk is cheap, but a record that's real. we can begin a better tomorrow tomorrow. >> he appealed to our votes by saying people should vote out of revenge. we are asking for your vote out of love for country. >> i don't know what he was doing in nevada while people are still being discovered dead in new york. >> the greatest country in the history of the world and our growth is at 1.2%. he should resign. >>. >> first of all the ad is accurate. bill clinton was in pennsylvania talking a about it. >> you're the only two that think it's accurate. >> they figured out that jeep is owned by chrysler then by fiat. so the charge began, the president is working with the italians. few days ago, come out for the irish, and i'm toast. >> new polls show both candidates are neck and neck. the latest and last nbc
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news/"wall street journal" poll before election day shows the race in a statistical tie nationallyp in ohio the state that may ultimately determine the outcome of the race, the two candidates are within the margin of error with the edge going to the president. joining us now from chicago, obama for america deputy campaign manager, stephanie cutter. it's a pleasure to have you on the program. >> thanks for having me. >> so, we played a little sound that i think would make the case the romney campaign is using the kitchen sink strategy, a lot of last-minute plays there, but worth noting the big dog bill clinton is holding four rallies today in pennsylvania, which was once a state we thought, perhaps, firmly in the ledger for the president. does that speak to concern on your part it may not be all locked up? >> we're not going to leave anything -- we're not taking anything for granted. we want to make sure everything is locked up going to election day. so we're really pleased to have president clinton there. i think these are going to be great events. there was huge enthusiasm on the
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ground. we've been on the ground there for years. we've got offices all over that state. we're going to win it. but we're not taking anything for granted. >> stephanie, there's been a lot of talk of the "e" word, enthusiasm. i will quote to you jeff zelleny in "the new york times" writing on sunday or saying on sunday actually let's just play the sound of jeff and hear what he had to say. >> okay. >> iowa this week, and one thing you pick up, there is a real sense of enthusiasm for the romney campaign. i did not run into one republican voter at rallies or just on the street or other things who are not happy about electing mitt romney as opposed to electing someone to beat president obama. that is a significant change. >> stephanie, is that a significant change for a long time, the romney campaign has been basically doubling down on the strategy that americans will take anybody but obama. now they seem to actually like mitt romney and are apparently according to jeff, enthusiastic about his candidacy. >> it only took six years of a
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candidacy to do that. jeff zelleny is a great reporter. i think that the enthusiasm edge goes to us. you were just playing the president's rally in madison. there are more than 18,000 people there. we had 20,000 people in colorado. late last night in the cold. there is real enthusiasm on the ground. the best measure of enthusiasm right now is early vote. look at early vote in iowa, we are beating mitt romney two to one and some cases three to one. mitt romney has to win tomorrow's vote, just the election day vote, by upwards of 23 points just to tie us. so that's a really good measure of enthusiasm of people that are already coming out to the polls to vote for this president. and they're not mid term voters. these are sporadic voters coming out, that particularly you know that we've been working with over the course of the last two years of this campaign. i think that is the best measure of enthusiasm right now. >> stephanie, one more question before we have to let you go. the notion of voter fraud, we've
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discussed it a lot in this campaign cycle, do you think the fact that a lot of these states were sort of had their hand slapped, these republican held governor state houses in terms of putting in place laws that would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, do you think it's actually potentially at an adverse effect to say gin up enthusiasm in communities that maybe not -- maybe would not have been as enthusiastic about going to the polls, the fact that their right to vote might have been taken away is enough to get them out in force on tuesday and in the days prior? >> well, i think it's possible. i think that our supporters feel pretty passionately about their right to vote. you know, it's important for people to know for people who haven't yet voted, that their vote will be protected. they don't have anything to worry about. everything that we could possibly do in beating back those challenges, there was something like 30,000 -- 3,000 challenges to election laws to make it harder for people to vote and we won 99% of those
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challenges across the battleground states. people should go into election day knowing their vote is protected. >> it is a good thing not just for this campaign cycle but for american democracy on whole. thank you to stephanie cutter of the obama campaign. good luck out there. >> thank you. >> i am opening it up to our panel here and i mentioned the "r" word, revenge, which seems to be the latest tactic in the romney arsenal. curren the newcomer there, i will go to you. romney has taken president obama's comments, i think it was friday or saturday about don't boo, go out and vote, voting is the best revenge and made this into one of the final plankss in his strategy going into election day. there is a robo call the romney campaign has released. let's take a listen to that. if we have it. >> the -- >> this is mitt romney on the campaign trail yesterday. >> the president said something you may have heard. >> the last friday in october romney would have won -- >> that seemed to be a kind of a mash up of haley barbour and
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mitt romney robo call, but needless to say -- which might not be the most effective campaign tool, but in the romney call, the basically they're using the sound from the president talking about revenge. my question to you is, does that -- to me that smacks of desperation. does anybody believes the president is a vengeful character at all on the national stage and this is the closing argument you want to make going into tuesday? >> at this point they're sort of pushing an anger point seeing if they can get one bit more of an edge with turning out their base voters with this kind of thing. i don't think it's going to make very much of a difference. >> pa michael eric dyson, we talk about how there's been a concerted effort on many folks on the right to paint the president as other, outside the mainstream, and paul ryan questioning or calling into question the president's faith in effect, saying that his policies would undermine the judeo christian roots of this society. >> yeah. it's pretty desperate. it's vicious, it's against the best tenants of anybody's faith
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to respect somebody else's faith. even if you're an evangelical zell lot like mr. ryan appears to be in the embrace of his faith, have enough graciousness to acknowledge the other guy might have some religion, some truck with god, some divine spark well, happen to disagree on policy i don't have to question his belief in god. this is the kind of billy graham/franklin graham/paul ryan approach here, to say you call into question the integrity of the other person's faith to bolster your own and articulate your special ties with the divinity. you're playing the god card or grace card. i got more grace than you, more mercy than you. >> and it's somehow furthers this that i think very much still exists out there in some parts of the country where folks are more conservative or less getting -- getting less information, i don't know what it is and believe that the president is not a christian like the rest of us. paul ryan says it is a path the president's path is one that
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compromises those values, those judeo christian values that made us a great nation in the first place. >> yeah. i mean i think if you're mitt romney right now, you're wondering what it's going to take. there's -- you're throwing a lot of stuff against the wall. i think it speaks to the lack of a consistent strategy and really prosecuting a consistent case against the president. they've just been all over the place in a lot of things and seeing that down to the wire. >> i think going to social issues, too, is interesting, because they've been losing on the economy. he i mean last friday's job numbers came in very good, four months of strong growth so that card is gone and sandy really gave the president a leg up. i mean it wasn't one that you would have wished for but showing there is a role for government, hey, we need to help each other, that strengthens the president's position. >> and maybe god is involved after all. maybe god sent that storm to let obama go up in christie. >> the storm narrative is becoming something that senior republican leadership is
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trotting out for why mitt romney may not win. haley barbour talking about the hurricane broke romney's momentum. it's out there as a means they can seize on to should things not go their way. >> if there was an election on george bush election eight dice after katrina he would have seen a different outcome. it was not preordained this would work in obama's favor. it's the way he handled the storm and reassured people and has not let problems fester and worked with fema, reformed fema, and christie and cuomo to get help to people as quickly as possible. even though it's still not reaching everyone. hugo can speak to that. >> i just think it's strange to hear the republicans talking about excuses for not winning the day before the election. i mean, it really is -- i mean, there's going to be a lot of talk after the election obviously, depending on who wins, about why they blew it. >> they believe in preemption. the reality is, they're trying to gin up the excuse now to figure out after what you think may happen after that storm of
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obama blows through, but i think it speaks to this enthusiasm thing. look, i'm a minister. i do a lot of wedding vows that are renewed. you never have the same enthusiasm as you're ru nug the vows as when you're married. but -- >> the lights are on. i mean come on you don't have the googoo approach to affection. >> there was never googoo with mitt romney. >> the lights are often. >> there's legitimate reasons. and i think it's -- there is an enthusiasm gap. i think clinton said it well the other day. i think i'm the only voter more enthusiastic about obama this time around. that's funny. >> that's what i mean. >> tough times for anybody to be president. i think that's true. >> look when you renew views you know the person you married now you've seen their flaws. when you're in courtship you don't see them. four years later -- >> you see a lot of romney's bills. >> the health care is being paid baby got some shoes and pell
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grants are looking great. >> you are not hearing the same excuse making or preemptive excuse making on the left which is telling. >> they're going to win. >> but it's -- if it's as close as it's supposedly is and the republicans really think they can win this why aren't folks on the left saying it's the economy or any number of different -- >> we have our grown man pants on. >> a testament to the fact that the right has never been sold on mitt romney's candidacy and always on a knife's edge. we shall see. after the break if the romney ticket doesn't emerge victorious tomorrow, what will the future hold for paul ryan? we will consult the magic 8 ball with the new republic's franklin fohr live on from guess where, democracy plaza. wooohooo....hahaahahaha!
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tomorrow's outcome is still up in the air but prognosticators are already making prediction -- predictions, plural, regarding paul ryan's future. after speaking anonymously to several aides close to ryan, philip elliott writes for the associateded press -- >> if the romney/ryan ticket loses it may not be all that bad for the gop wounder kin. john heilemann writes --
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joining us now from washington, is the editor of the new republic franklin. >> hey. >> we've been watching this tape of the incredible anim mittble bill clinton out there doing this thing. also joe biden out there, two very effective surrogates for team obama. we have heard precious little from paul ryan save an echo of the revenge line they are trotting out over the last 24 hours. do you think in the end, regardless of what happens tomorrow, paul ryan has been a good choice for mitt romney this campaign cycle? >> i agree with you. he's been strangely disappeared from the campaign trail. i think he's out there, drawing some sizable crowds but nothing like the way the mccain people trotted out even sarah palin at the end of the campaign in order to gin up enthusiasm. but i think there's a way in which had he may have on that slightly hurt mitt romney which is that you look at medicare as
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an issue, and the way in which the ryan plan has resonated despite the fact that the obama people haven't really pushed it like the way that you mute think they would have pushed it as a potential negative, medicare still -- has become a substantial advantage for the democrats in all three of the swing states according to the polling data. look at florida which i think is much closer than you would have anticipated at this stage and you have to wonder whether medicare and the ryan plan has reed downed against the romney ticket there and look at wisconsin which certainly is closer than you would have expected, but it doesn't look like based on all the polling we've seen, that ryan is going to drag romney over the tlej. i think maybe on balance he's been slightly -- slightly a net negative for the ticket, but i guess the question is, what was the alternative and who could have done better? i'm not sure that there are examples out there that are
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clearly superior? >> there was a lot of talk about rob portman being a better selection for mitt romney and i mean everybody has spent so much time in ohio they may be residents of the state by now. in all the ohio photo ops you see rob portman, critical adviser to the romney campaign, he was romney's debate and sparring partner, seemed to have worked out well for mitt romney. he could have chosen rob portman and maybe had a better chance in ohio. >> i think choosing anybody less extreme than paul ryan would have been a good move. when you look at when romney has gained momentum it's when he tacked to the center. whoever wins the election, we're in a center country right now. the solutions for the economic problems which are going to be the biggest challenges facing the winner of this election are centrist solutions. we need to have tax hikes, we need to have entitlement reform, people that come together and foster that. paul ryan's extreme budget is no
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solution and i really think that in terms of his future, i'm not so sure he's going to play as big a role as some might think because i think the republican party is going to have a big ideological conversation, it's been ongoing, more serious after the election as to what is this part going to be, hijacked by extremists or actually come together and work to solve the economic problems of the country. >> in "the new york times" today, an article asked by a reporter last month if he expected the broad responsibility for the economy that mr. cheney held for national security as an aide suggested, mr. ryan said i do. a large reason he was chosen was to help romney govern an yads visor to the campaign said, paul will focus on being a partner. >> i think if romney does win, if all the polls are wrong and he wins. >> there's a couple. >> small. you know, i think then he would absolutely be a very strong outreach to capitol hill and be
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able to work with the republican caucus and congress. i think the senate will have a very strong role in blocking whatever the romney agenda is and we'll see once again, a congress that probably doesn't do a lot and that fights itself into a standstill. >> that is a rosy picture you are painting, my friend. franklin, to go back to this idea of what paul ryan is going to do next, look, to me, even having this big prognosticating as we are in advance of election day, to me says, some folks in the ryan camp are either nervous or unhappy about the role that the -- that paul ryan has played and are trying to secure sort of some distance between him and romney should it all go south on election day. and we lost the audio there. michael eric dyson in terms of the sort of optics of this, people saying this is what paul ryan will do next, talking about a position as a lobbyist, on the heels of the chris christie bromance, these are folks that i
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think clearly do not think there is the wind in their sails going into tuesday. >> the optics are bad, the sound is even worse. the reality for all this discourse about country first and so on, you're already calculating what am i going to do. people are calculating for you what am i going to do. run the heritage foundation, be nerdish kind of person. the right does have an intellectual genius for figuring out ways to put to work those intellectuals and scholars that create a mill of ideas for them that they then aproposate and use in the public state. he's straddled the fence between that and i can see has a future in the politics in the pure sense or generating some kind of intellectual infrastructure that will play a role in the republican party, however it comes out for the next 20, 30 years. >> they need something aside from trickle supply side economics and intellectual platform. >> no doubt about that. >> you're not running the
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republican party. >> that hasn't been successful. >> i think it's true paul ryan will have a big voice depending -- if he's vice president obviously, but if he's not, if he goes back to being a congressman and then runs for president, he's going to be a major voice in the republican party and the war is not going to be in the republican party. it's going to be fought not in a back room somewhere. it's going to be out there in the public with a lot of ranker. it actually is exciting to see and gives the democrats maybe a chance to make some real progress. >> franklin, i believe we have your audio back. in terms of being a standard bearer for the gop depending on what happens on election day, do you think paul ryan will take that lead role? >> oh absolutely. look at what this guy has done in a short period of time. he went from being a back bencher to imposing his vision for very, very small, very, very libertarian government on a republican party. he managed to shift an already right leaning party even further to the right on economics.
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and he did this by savvy mastering of the folk ways of washington and seducing the media and if he'll emerge from this election being entirely inbe sue lated from whatever postmortems emerge about mitt romney. the debate about why the mitt romney campaign went south, if it indeed ends up going south, will revolve around mitt romney's character and tactics and nothing to do with paul ryan is my prediction. >> franklin you said mastering the folk waves and seducing the media which is something everybody at this table would like to do. also a reason -- that's why you're the big cheese at the new republic, sentences like that just -- thank you as always, my friend, for your time. >> thanks. >> coming up, compromise may be a dirty word in the senate, but could a leftward shift on election day change life in the upper chamber? we will ask senator barbara boxer when she joins us live just ahead. ♪
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for a superior clean. oral-b power brushes. go to oralb.com for the latest offers. right at this very moment, vice president joe biden is holding his first campaign event of the day. here is a live look at sterling, virginia, where the vice president is speaking. biden told msnbc's chris mathews yesterday, that he knows a dozen republican senators and three dozen republican house members willing to work with the president if he's re-elected. will congress's so-called fever of opposition break next year? we will ask senator barbara boxer next on "now."
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we've run into a situation here where compromise is not part of what we do around here anymore. my friend senator mcconnell the single most important thing we want to chief is for president obama to be a one-term president. >> compromise is difficult. my 47 members of the senate have very different views from harry and his colleagues about how much government we ought to have, how much taxation we ought to have, how much regulation we ought to have, it is not easy to reach agreement when you have very different views, steve, of the direction the country ought to take. >> that was senate majority leader harry reid and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell failing to instill any confidence that democrats and republicans might possibly work together. so is the country december tinned for another four years of
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debilitating gridlock. joining us from oakland is democratic senator from california barbara boxer. senator boxer, pleasure to have you on the show. >> nice to be on your show. >> senator, you know, we've talked about the makeup of the next senate and some early prognosticators are saying, the actual power shift in terms of seats held won't change that much, but you may end up seeing a more liberal democratic caucus in the upper chamber just by virtue of who the folks coming in are and believe. i call -- the race between joe donnelly and richard mourdock, mourdock was supposed to have this butnd up. the seat may go to donnelly. chris murphy replacing joe lieberman and tammy baldwin may replace herb in wisconsin. what does that mean in terms of the caucus and animating policies of the democratic caucus and the upper chamber? >> i think this focus on liberal and conservative misses the
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entire point. the question is, are we going to come together, meet each other half way and make sure this economic recovery continues? these are the big issues facing us in this election and the people you talked about are very mainstream people. joe donnelly, you can't get more mainstream. he's more like richard lugar. but some of these republicans are so off the wall, that, you know, they don't believe there ought to be a government at all. except maybe for the military maybe. let me just give a little point of view here for -- as a chairman of a committee that is responsible for rebuilding our infrastructure, the environment and public works committee. we have these two responsibilities environment, it's been very difficult to find a compromise there with the republicans. they've changed. when i went into politics originally, the environment was something everybody embraced. now it's become political. on the infrastructure side, senator imhoff and i who do not
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see eye to eye came together and passed an important bill that saved 2 million construction jobs and created another million. we can do it, but i want to pick up on something that harry reid said. you know, he -- harry reid is not very fancy speaker but he speaks the truth. when mitch mcconnell came to the senate floor and said his highest priority was making president obama a one-term president, i gasped audibly because whether you're a democrat or republican or independent, that's not our job. >> indeed. >> yeah. and so if that was his intent, that explains why they launched over 200 filibusters and yes, we made a -- some progress but not enough. it's got to stop and we have to meet each other halfway. >> it does. it's worth noting harry reid said mitt romney's fantasy that senate democrats will work with limb to pass his severely conservative agenda is laughable, certainly there's more discussion to be had on this. we have to cut away.
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governor mitt romney is at his second of five campaigns of the day. let's take a listen. >> okay. >> measured in achievement. look at his record, four years ago, candidate obama promised he would do so very much but he fell so very short. he promised to be a post-partisan president, but he's not the most partisan, blaming, attacking, dividing. not only republicans he refused to listen to, it's independents. and by the way, he was going to focus on creating jobs. instead he focused on creating obama care and that kills jobs. he said he was going to cut the federal deficit in half, he doubled it. he said unemployment by now would be at 5.2%. we learned on friday it's 7.9%. those percents may not be real meaningful to you unless you think about the people behind them because that's 9 million american jobs short of what he promised.
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unemployment today is higher than when barack obama took office. now he promised he would also have a proposal for us by now to save medicare and social security from insolvency. he hasn't. he raided medicare $760 billion to pay for obama care. he said he was going to lower health insurance premiums for the average american family by $2,500 a year. any of you got that new reduced rate? didn't think so. actually it's gone up by $3,000 a family. you think about that. with the median income and a family at $50,000 a year about, that's a $5,000 plus dollar difference. it's huge. and then, of course, the cost of gasoline. it's gone up $2,000 per family. since the president has been in office. by the way, he said he would walk across the aisle, work with republicans on the most important issues of the day.
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do you know that he is not met on the economy or on the budget sequester or on jobs with either republican leader of the house or senate since july. think of that. instead of bridging the divide between the parties had he's made it wider. so many of you look at the debates we have in this country not as a republican or democrat but as an american. you watched what has happened over this -- >> that was governor mitt romney in lynchburg, virginia. now back to senator barbara boxer joining us from oakland, california. senator boxer, perfect segue here. mitt romney talking about how he's going to work across the aisle with members of the house and the senate to get things passed. do you think that's possible as i said right before we started listening to governor romney harry reid says it's laughable to think senate democrats would work with the governor to pass his severely conservative agenda. >> let me first say, i don't know where the governor's been for the last four years.
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but the way he portrays our president is outrageous. absolutely outrageous. i was there, i saw this man present a big and very important budget deal to john boehner, a $4 trillion deficit reduction and boehner said yes, and then at the last minute after he checked with his tea party he walked away. i served with barack obama in the senate. he has friends across the aisle, he reaches across the aisle, but when you have a majority leader named mitch mcconnell who said his highest priority is seeing this man become a one-term president, i don't know what they expect barack obama to do. he cannot wave a magic wand if that's the attitude. and the other thing is, mitt romney doesn't tell people which i'm going to tell them with your permission, that -- >> please go ahead. >> thank you. there were more private sector jobs created under barack obama in the last three months new private sector jobs than george
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w. bush over eight years. we were bleeding 800,000 jobs a month when our president took the oath. the deficits were soaring and he had two wars on the credit card, osama bin laden was running loose, detroit was about to go under. mitt romney said let detroit go bankrupt. he didn't think it was a big deal to focus attention on osama bin laden. he wouldn't have gone into pakistan to get him. i mean, when you listen to mitt romney, it's fantasy land. and now -- and i want to get to your question, yes, we're not going to pass a conservative agenda because the american people are mainstream. that's what we hear all the time. we're a mainstream country. do you think we're going to go back to the days when women were criminals if they exercised their right to choose when being a woman was a preexisting condition and we had to pay so much more than a man for health insurance policy?
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we're not going to go back to those days. mitt romney says he doesn't even know if he would have voted for the equal pay act. so no, we're not going to go there. what we will do regardless of who is president is to meet people half way and yes, we will do that. i've done it myself. we've cut a trillion dollars from this deficit. that wasn't easy for us. but we did it. and we also cut a lot of taxes by the way. which mitt romney never happens to mention for small business. all he wants to do is do the tax breaks for the people making over a million and a billion dollars a year, wants to cut it 20% and we will add trillions to the deficit. >> senator boxer. >> yes. >> i have to ask you, the one thing the president has said, we talked about the scenario in which mitt romney is president and how that shakes out with democratic held senate, but in terms of the president being re-elected there is certainly going to be a lot of naval gazing in the republican party and no certain -- no uncertain amount of vitriol.
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do you think the vice president and president are correct in their assessment the fever may break among the rest of house republican caucus and they will be willing to work across the aisle with the president to get things done? >> i served in the house for ten years, i know how it works. the leadership calls the shots. if the leadership over there decides that what's most important to them is fixing the problems, we'll be fine. we'll be fine. but if they stick to that tea party line which is, you know, let's just fold our hands and say no because government shouldn't do this and they shouldn't do that, and i think one of the issues that brought it home to people was that hurricane. i mean what i'm saying isn't any news to people but it really made people stop and think. you know, who do they really want at their back if something like that happens and the answer is, president obama and the democrats because we understand we are all in this together. >> thank you so much to senator barbara boxer spending time with us on election eve. thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, slow and steady
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wins the race or does it? obama pacman bill burton explains going tough and early when he joins the panel here at democracy plaza. [ male announcer ] how do you trade? with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade.
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mmm i can still see you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. after the break, we do not know the winner yet, but we do know he had a boat load of cash on his side. we will look at the impact and the future of super pacs with our very own money bunny, bill burton. that's coming up next. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin.
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after a sluggish start, obama's super pac priorities usa action has seen once reluctant democratic mega donors turn on the spigot to ensure their candidate does not get blown out of the water. outraised two to one by its counter part priority usa made its money count defining the gop as a greedy corporate raider who would shut down factories and fire middle class workers in his endless drive for greater profits. the super pac has begun reairing some of its effective summer ads as part of a $30 million fall campaign. in a recent memo priorities head bill burton wrote, quote, from now until election day we will make sure that voters understand that mitt romney's promise to apply his business experience to washington would mean policies that benefit the very wealthiest like himself at the expense of middle class families. the super pac's closing argument is clear and emblazoned on the screen in its ads if mitt romney
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wins the middle class loses. joining the package now is the man himself, the head of pro obama super pac priorities usa action, the money penny to the obama campaign, mr. bill burton. sort of weird to read a quote from you to you. >> it's a little strange. >> those ads in the summer a lot of folks thought were harsh, perhaps too harsh, perhaps playing low ball from a campaign, from a candidate that has sort of been above that kind of fisticuffs. and yet, you guys are reairing them. they've clearly worked for team obama, $30 million ad buy as i mentioned. the summer strategy seems to have been the right one. do you have any regrets about it? >> >> no. for starters. >> it's working. >> exactly. no asymmetrics a nonpartisan firm that graded all the ads on their effectiveness today said one of our ads was the most effective ad of the cycle based on focus groups they've done on
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the different ads over the course of this election. you know, what we were doing with these ads was, more than just telling the story of what mitt romney did at bain, it was a story about a guy who always stood up for his partners and himself making sure he made plenty of money but when it came to the promises at middle class, he broke them time after time, people lost their jobs, lost their benefits and if people look at what kind of president mitt romney would be, this talks about what's in his character? who would he be standing up for knew the oval office? >> those ads were tough. the one that staged, the one that bill is talking about, where workers basically say they were forced to build their own coffins, you know, in advance of around a firing. that strategy go hard, go early, mitt romney was preoccupied with the primary races and the elusive plutocrat image seems to be something he cannot shake. >> i will say at that point in the campaign he could have responded more and i think it was an error that john kerry
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made as well, to let somebody go in there and define you early and some ways, you know, obama is taking a page from the bush playbook and doing that. >> why didn't -- to the point, were you surprised they didn't try to counter that -- those -- that had messaging? >> one of the biggest surprises of this election to had me. mitt romney knew this was coming, no matter what people would talk about his business record and never had a positive story to tell about it the entire election. now, you think that maybe the super pacs could have supported him but the problem is that, you know, mitt romney's campaign was saying, well we've got this plan, we're going to have workers from staples and sports authority and talk about the good side of it but it never materialized. no effort on their side to say, this is a good thing for mitt romney and in turn what was his greatest asset into a huge liability. >> i think that's true. the failure i think of romney on his own business record, is linked to his failure on the larger theme of the economy and inability to link what he
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understands ability the economy as a business person and what he thinks is good for the country and economy. could never make those two work together at all. in his overall message on the economy was very muddled and basically came down to trust me i know about creating jobs. and i think that was -- ultimately that -- in the last debate i mean it was really laid bare. very thin, unpersuasive -- >> that kind of insular thinking, trust me because i know better, it's hue britsic politics predicated on my knowledge, my experience, you then concede to me the legitimate authority to make these decisions and we don't have to engage in this messy process called democracy. >> that's been his point of view, his strategy on every issue which is to say trust me on the women's rights stuff, abortion stuff. >> we got this. >> trust me on the business experience. bill, i mean one thing that -- when you first started appearing on this program, the beginning of your stellar career. >> the beginning of this program really. >> at the beginning of this program. >> there was a lot of self-flange lating, i wish i
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didn't exist, i wish super pacs didn't exist. look at the amount of money spent in this campaign cycle. the top five conservative groups outside the campaigns, $416 million the top five liberal groups spending outside of the campaign, $183 million. obviously a great dirt. not a balanced scale if you will. >> right. >> the question is, is there going to be reform broadly speaking? the fact that this -- these campaigns are awash in cash, spending $1 billion each, is there hope you will -- that your position will one day not exist? >> yes. no, i still hope that super pacs don't exist. that's the democratic position, where the president comes to this. and on the republican side, you have to wonder if sheldon adelson and these guys that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to seems like no affect whatsoever will continue to fund the outside efforts. >> it's not that we want you to disappear. we want you to come back in a different capacity. >> and pay some basketball
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players more money. >> thank you to michael, bill, hugo and rana. i will see you back here at democracy plaza tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when joined by chris mathews, governor ed rendell, new york city deputy mayor howard wolfson, richard wolffe, karen finney and the new yorker's hendrik hertzberg. find us at a little place called facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next and her guests include majority leader eric cantor and gloria steinnam. what a duo there. stay with msnbc for more from democracy plaza. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! oh...there you go. wooohooo....hahaahahaha! i'm gonna stand up to her! no you're not. i know.
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